Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week 2021

EQW 2021

Our annual Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week (#EQW2021) took place 10-14 May 2021. Now it's in ninth year, the week is a national platform for organisations to highlight their work to create a fairer and more inclusive NHS for patients and staff.

During the week, health and care organisations from across the country supported the campaign and hosted activities to promote and celebrate the great work taking place around equality, diversity and inclusion.

Each day was themed around one of the pledges from the NHS People Promise which is a cornerstone of the NHS People Plan

 Monday 10 May 2021  Being a team 
 Tuesday 11 May 2021  Being recognised and rewarded
 Wednesday 12 May 2021  A voice that counts
 Thursday 13 May 2021  Safety and health
 Friday 14 May 2021  Compassion and inclusivity

During the week we shared video messages, events, guidance and good practice, access the links below. 

Watch our #EQW2021 launch messages 



Also launched at the beginning of the week was the NHS Confederation’s equality networks #LeadersLookLike campaign, celebrating those people who don’t always get the recognition they deserve, and supporting a more inclusive notion of leadership.


Read our #EQW2021 blogs and case study

  • Blog - My staff network journey by Michelle Healy, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust
    Michelle reflects on the importance of staff networks and the support they provide, finding common ground with others and improving the workplace for all.
  • Blog - Finding my voice to drive change by Stuart Moore, NHS England and NHS Improvement
    Stuart shares his lived experiences of a hidden disability and how that has driven his commitment to furthering workplace disability equality and inclusion.
  • Blog - Speaking openly about mental health in the workplace by Dr Christine Rivers, NHS England and NHS Improvement
    Chris shares her thoughts on the importance of having open conversations with staff around disability and mental health.
  • Blog - Compassion and inclusion and the link to belonging by Laura Simms, equality and inclusion system influencer lead at NHS England and NHS Improvement
    Laura explores the importance of belonging to ourselves and to others, as a radical act of compassion, alongside the need to belong to others or a place. 
  • Case study - Inclusive culture 
    Find out what North East London Foundation Trust did to became a more inclusive organisation, improve it's recruitment processes and support staff with disabilities.   

New video and webinar on invisible disabilities - book your place

Join our panel of disability experts on 2 June, 2-3pm, for a thought-provoking discussion on hidden disabilities and what further steps can be taken to make the NHS workplace more inclusive. Access the invisible disabilities video and register for the webinar.


  • Online EQW2021 launch event - Monday 10 May 10am-12pm
    Held in in partnership with Coventry & Warwick Partnership NHS Trust, this event brought together NHS trusts who are part of the NHS Employers partners or alumni programmes to formally launch the week. 
  • Tweet chat - The only way is ethics (TOWIE) - Tuesday 11 May 8-9pm #EthicalRecruitment #EverydayCourage #EQW2021
    Paul Deemer @NHSE_Paul, Erika Ottley @EirkaOttley1 and Dr Will Thomas @willt486 continued a conversation on ethical recruitment which started on International Women's Day.
  • Webinar on inclusive workplaces – How can we create them from the ground up and top down? - Wednesday 12 May 10am - 11am 
    Caroline Shafar, partner from Ward Hadaway hosted a webinar to discuss how we can tackle the underlying problems of unconscious bias at all levels, and tackle inequality in the workplace. Other speakers included Liten Patel - director of Diversync and Paul Deemer - head of diversity and inclusion, NHS Employers. Access the webinar recording.
  • National day for staff networks - Wednesday 12 May #Togetherness
    Promotional resources which supported local staff network campaign activities, including social media banners, profile badges, pledge cards and virtual backgrounds. 
  • Roundtable discussion - NHS People Plan pledges - Wednesday 12 May 12-1pm
    Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust hosted a virtual roundtable to discuss pledges set out in the NHS People Promise, cornerstone to the NHS People Plan. The  panel included representation from the trust’s staff network chairs, UNISON trade union, EDI team and allies of the inclusion agenda. 
  • Webinar - How can networks support the health and wellbeing of staff? - Thursday 13 May 3.30-4.30pm
    We teamed up with our Health and Care LGBTQ+ Leaders Network, BME Leadership Network, Health & Care Women Leaders Network, and Health and Wellbeing team to deliver this webinar. During this session we explored how networks have made adjustments to how they operate during the pandemic, the health and wellbeing challenges their members have faced and the crucial support networks provide.
  • Tweet chat - Autism, identity and inclusion - Thursday 13 May 8-9pm #AutisticIdentity
    We supported a Tweet chat organised by Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust. During this session we had an open discussion on the relationship between autism and identity.
  • Webinar - Where do we go with race equality now in 2021? - Friday 14 May 9.30am – 5pm
    In collaboration with colleagues from the NHS, fire, and the police we put together an event addressing race equality within the context of employment and how services are designed. 

#EQW2021 promotional campaign resources

We developed a suite of digital resources to support the  #EQW2021 campaign.

Diverse inclusive together logo
Diverse inclusive together logo - with protected characteristics
#EQW2021 graphic suitable for Twitter
#EQW2021 MS Teams background
#EQW2021 Email footer
#EQW2021 Email footer - add your logo

Further information

Should you have any questions or would like further information about #EQW2021 please email diversityandinclusion@nhsemployers.org.

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